A common misconception is that what discipleship means and entails is reserved for “professional Christians” like pastors and church staff. Studies show that Christians feel ill-equipped when it comes to discipleship and there is mounting evidence that even pastors don’t view discipleship as the favorite part of their job.
Pastors don’t enjoy discipleship, and regular churchgoers don’t believe they are qualified. This is where we come in by bridging the gap between the church and the Bible. We’ve found that what discipleship means is found in equipping men and women who are passionate for Jesus and the next generation.
In the Great Commission, Jesus’ final words to his disciples while on earth are, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded.” At that moment, the disciples moved from being discipled to being charged with discipling others. It’s an important shift in the life of a follower of Jesus.
Unfortunately, many Christians feel unqualified, unskilled, or insufficiently knowledgeable to disciple others. That is why we started Emet Ministries. We want to instill knowledge, truth, and confidence in the next generation regarding their belief in God and ability to share that with others. In addition, we want to address people's insecurities and inadequacies when they think about discipling others.
There will come a point in every person’s life when they are ready to pursue discipling others. We exist to help people bridge the gap from disciple to discipler.
In II Timothy 2:1-2, Paul tells Timothy, his son in the faith, to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” Paul expects Timothy to find other leaders and pass along what he learned from Paul, so they will then pass their wisdom and knowledge along, and on and on.
Submitting to discipleship, coming into a relationship with an older Christian where you can be refreshingly honest about your faults and failures and hopes and dreams, will— I believe—be a catalyst for spiritual growth and fruitfulness. But discipleship takes time, and it is hard work.
What discipleship means is having a discipler take the initiative and help someone else orient their life toward Jesus Christ. It is leading people to a deeper walk with Jesus, teaching them how to follow Him, teaching them Scripture, and helping them learn intimacy with Jesus through prayer and service to the church. Said another way, discipling another believer is an investment in another person that provides eternal dividends and leaves the individual to look high to Jesus, walk low in humility, and go deep into the Word.
What discipleship means based on Paul and Timothy is deep one-on-one intergenerational discipleship. We can’t overstate the importance of this. Culturally, there isn’t much respect for people outside of their generation, but we believe discipleship is an incredible and essential way to develop intergenerational relationships because we need each other.
Emet Ministries exists to raise a generation of disciples in the church community who can model Christlikeness, teach young men and women to walk in humility, and establish Godly goals so they can mature and lead their families to be salt and light in the community.
Discipleship is very rewarding—both to the young men and women being discipled and to the ones discipling. We might think someone in their 60s or 70s is giving everything in a discipling relationship, but in reality, they get to be used by God to help young people avoid the traps they fell into in their younger days. In addition, an older generation gets to provide what they maybe didn’t experience when they were younger: an older man or woman who could impart wisdom in work, marriage, relationships, raising children, and understanding the Word of God.
As a part of the older generation, I get to lay up treasure in heaven by investing in the lives of young men and women who will be leaders for this generation. Working over 45 years in the business world and ministry at my church has taught me many valuable lessons. Now I have the unique opportunity to pour that wisdom into younger generations. It is a rich blessing to be used by God in this way. I feel that I have lived my whole life for this moment. I get to “do life” with them and give them what I did not have when I was their age.
Discipling others comes as a tremendous and surprising joy. You don’t have to be my age to do it. What discipleship means is be willing to listen and learn about someone younger than you. Be ready to ask questions, impart wisdom when asked, and get to know them like any friend. You’ll be surprised how open and honest people will be when they realize they’re in a safe environment with someone who deeply cares for them. They’re much more receptive to Scripture, truth, and the leading of the Holy Spirit when they know they’re cared for by a friend and mentor.